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HMS Granado by HardeeHarHar - Caldercraft - 1:64 - Bomb Vessel

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Well, with the continued encouragement of Vane, I have decided to break the ice and start a build log for my efforts on the HMS Granado.  I have ordered the AOTS reference and my wife was super kind and found a nice reference book on the builder....


Granado was ordered to be constructed on September 14th, 1741 and the keel was laid on November 18th, 1741. The construction of the ship occurred at St Clements on the River Orwell near Ipswich.  The Granado's design was unusual in that she was to be used as either a sloop or a bomb vessel, being constructed with a conventional square stern.   Launched on June 22nd, 1742, Granado was initially taken to Harwich, and fitted out and put in commission as a sloop.  It was not until 1756 that Granado was fitted for the first time as a bomb vessel from an Admiralty Order on July 26th 1756.  However, between the launch of Granado and her fitting as a bomb vessel, a number of changes had been made as compared to the original Admiralty plans, the most noticeable of these were as follows:

1.     Two extra 4pdr carriage guns were added (Admiralty order of June 20th 1745) bringing the total 4pdr carriage guns to 10.
2.     Two bow chaser gun ports were added allowing accommodation of the extra guns either under the forecastle as bow chasers or at the fifth gunports.
3.     The mortars as shown in the Admiralty plans are two 13 inch mortars however when fitted as a bomb vessel this was actually changed to 1 x 13inch and 1 x 10inch mortar. This is confirmed by the provisions list on March 30th 1757 which details 50 large and 50 small shells.

It was during its period as a bomb vessel that Granado was involved in her most active role.  On January 22nd, 1759, Granado and the squadron under command of Commodore John Moore anchored off Basse Terre.   By January 24th troops had occupied the forts of Basse Terre and Fort Royal, and the town had been devastated by fire caused by the carcasses discharged from the bomb vessels.
On February 7th, the fleet moved to attack Fort Louis at the entrance to Cul de Sac Bay. The attack began the following day and by February 15 the bombardment ceased with the capture of the Fort.

Granado remained as a bomb vessel until the Admiralty Order to fit her as a sloop on March 20th 1760.  Granado was again converted to a bomb vessel in August 1761 and she remained as such until she was sold on August 30th 1763 for £575. During this period Granado was involved in the action of capturing Morro Castle and El Morro in the West Indies and the capitulation of Havana on August 13th 1762.






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Well, a good build log probably needs some building, whether good or bad....So, here goes....


I should also thank ccoyle for changing the title to match convention.   Sorry!


My previous building experience is limited to the Launch of the HMS Bounty, so you know where I am coming from (way over my head).  That was a good sized project to start, as my work space is limited, and my wife is only so tolerant.  My two dogs are totally unhelpful.  Spoiler alert, I have just finished the 2nd planking, so I have to get the build up to speed:


False Keel being glued in place...



Alignment, alignment, alignment.  The bulkheads were not properly aligned and had to be "fixed" in several locations.  Not a strong start, and clearly shows why people use legos, and other items to ensure square and true alignment.  After "fixing" it, and repairing the damage =), I proceeded satisfied that this was not going to be the biggest issue I faced as the build progresses....




Gun port templates went in well, and I concluded there was no further "fixing" needed. 




First layer of lime planking was of no concern at all for this "seasoned builder", particularly after having read the planking material on the forum and watched Chuck's incredible videos, Kevin's series of videos, etc.  I think you can see the tapering around the beard line at the stern....



It looks pretty torqued from above, I know, but stay tuned.....





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I added the walnut wale, and stained dark...  Then I tried to find some boxwood (Castello) to use for the 2nd planking instead of the walnut, because I have more money than IQ points....  I ordered some from one well known vendor in the US, and got some horrible yellow sticks of some weird wood that was simply unusable.  More details provided if sufficiently encouraged.  Then I ordered material from Arkowood in Germany, and got ready to wait for the United States Postal Service (under their new leader Dejoy) to get around to delivering my boxwood strips for about $300.00 US.  I was ready for a long wait, but I was certain I was going to receive material that was actually usable.....IMG_2535.thumb.jpeg.498e7e226977dcd75920b4e52053b06e.jpeg



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Ryland, you are encouraging me, and I thank you for that.  Here is a little bit more of the build (and some wood talk):


Let's start with the fake boxwood a certain somecompany sold me.  I placed it between a piece of lime on the right and walnut on the right.  It's pretty horrid.




So while I was waiting for the boxwood from an honest supplier in Deutschland, I built the mortar housings and the cannon carriages, because that's what you do, right?!?IMG_2598.thumb.jpeg.7eae3a47a1498dd3bb109ce7652584d7.jpeg



Poorly stained and poly'd by comparison to others, but for me, an amazing feat to make something that looks somewhat functional.  61903708949__FAE9B813-2D68-4A03-8C0E-794787BA9E6B.thumb.jpeg.65e0bfc2d140acd7a209906d66064f99.jpeg


Here you get to see that the carriages still need sanding and finishing (as do the mortar housings), but I am glad that I am still making progress and not making too much of a mess of a good kit (thank you Caldercraft). IMG_2691.thumb.jpeg.32748bf9aaa8670343d143532a4ee4e3.jpeg



Photo's do make my work look, uhm, like it's my second build....



But, the boxwood finally arrived!!!!  Like almost 1.5 months later I am afraid to admit...but it was worth it (we will see if I make it worth it in the end..... 😉IMG_2694.thumb.jpeg.fb85c045eb1f076fc905852a1df0e058.jpeg


It might not look like much, but it feels substantial, and what a joy it has turned out to work with so far..... (here is a shot with the bundle of boxwood ($) and the yellow piece of "wood" worth ($0.00000000000001).IMG_2628.thumb.jpeg.76c840b751b7f6b6ea6b7aa6fe742ae3.jpeg


Side by side revelation that the stuff on the left is so not right....



If anyone wants some yellow "wood" strips, no wait, never mind.


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Did I mention I blackened the cannon's with a liquid blackening agent because I am "afraid" of paints due to being a newbie?  Well I did that, and it turned out kinda meh.  Takes a long time, toxic, takes a long time....looks good but rubs off?  Wtheck is with that stuff anyway, but it does give it a certain depth and cool look, doesn't it?


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Here is my final post for today....the tease.  The wood provided in the kit was walnut and it was fine in my novice opinion, but I wanted to get the most bang for the buck if possible, and went boxwood.  I think that was a good call, as long as it all works out in the end...IMG_2709.thumb.jpeg.dbbcf1b9ddfd249210e927ab2706796b.jpeg


Don't let Chuck or anybody with skill see how lame I am at planking, but I have always managed to unglue my fingers. =P



I like my nasty bare foot in the above photo.  No charge.



The boxwood looks nice doesn't it, and it is so nice to work with.  I really need to make sure I check each plank before using one side or the other.  But I think it still looks pretty solid so far.


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Good call with the boxwood. I have the Victory Models HMS Fly, one of the very first examples of that kit, purchased and started back in 2006. It's still sitting on a shelf, waiting to be finished. I confess that one of the reasons that I'm not particularly motivated to finish her is that after I got all the walnut planking done, I eventually decided I didn't much like the look of it -- both the dark wood and my not-especially-good planking job. Turns out I like models done in lighter woods better. Oh, well -- live and learn. I may finish her off as a hull model -- someday. The financially prudent part of me doesn't want to let a $300 kit go unfinished, but my modeler's heart knows that I won't be entirely happy with the finished product.

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Second planking with Boxwood finished, and rough sanding underway!  Looking pretty 2nd buildish isn't it, but a good 2nd buildish nonetheless (still looks like a boat).1837887561_IMG_2802(2).thumb.jpeg.ba778b8f146e86d294d4b8d34e6a8ce4.jpeg


When you build with boxwood, it eliminates the ability to blame the wood.  Good god these pictures make it look like gigantic fissures in the planking.  I've got more sanding to do though (I ordered the Proxon sander =$) and when it gets here I'll have it sanded back down to the lime wood in no time at all.



It looks pretty nice, and I am thinking I can shove boxwood dust ($) into the cracks and poly over it, sand it, poly it, sand it, poly it....and be happy for a while?


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CCoyle, my South Carolina neighbor, I can feel your pain my friend.  My experience is so limited, that when I did the Bounty Launch (Amati's nice little kit), I stained the walnut so dark with a dark minwax stain that it got all layered up into paint like dark.  And I have tried to use less, but that stuff is hard to control 😉  So, my keel and wale are deep dark walnut, and while you can see grain, it is of relatively even tone.  I was so stunned that I made a Bounty Launch that looked acceptable kept me going to finish it all.  The rigging made me learn more, and then I was hooked.  It came out recognizable too, which pushed me to go all Granado on myself.  I can't imagine if I didn't finish it, but I also thought if I managed to mess up the Bounty, I would stop immediately.  It was all a battle not to ruin a half way good model....the whole time =).  I have seen a few bare walnut planked Granado's, and I think I would paint a walnut hull the white that is suggested.  I am thinking I will not paint (or Treenail) the hull white and just poly the boxwood, and also not paint the wale and keel, and just leave them the dark walnut stain (which I will have to reapply at some time to hide the new scars).  Opinions welcome, because I don't want to not do something that I really "should" do per authenticity or some other higher cause I am not aware of.  


Here is some of the deck planking I have now completed 😃IMG_2835.thumb.jpeg.adf82e65ada98aa22307e1f71c0b7330.jpeg


and some of the boxwood after further sanding with the Proxon sander.....which eats sandpaper.


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....and finally, the current state money shots, and I say money shots because the 2nd planking was costly =).  Here she is with gunports lined and planked above the wale.


From the side:977181876_IMG_2906(1).thumb.jpeg.e6c2063f029b53c123542abee1c23cfc.jpeg


From the top:1591404745_IMG_2908(1).thumb.jpeg.f36fd4cd65bd468f325c13086710fc87.jpeg


and somewhere in the middle:



It could be lots worse!  I'm ecstatic (and frozen with next step questions and concerns).....as I expected.  Need to get some work work done, but I plan on keeping up a good pace if at all possible.  This has been about at least 3 (?!?) months of time expired I think, somewhere around there.  Seems like a long way to go for sure, and I am afraid of paints, right?  So this spirketting and stuff is gonna freak me out.

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On 9/30/2020 at 1:26 PM, Ryland Craze said:

You are doing a good job on your Granado.  I cannot wait to see the boxwood on this model.  This is definitely an improvement on the kit supplied materials.

Hey Ryland, Thanks for the kind words.  I lived in Richmond for 10 years, so we were neighbors at one point =).  The boxwood from Arkowood is very nice to work with, as it should be.

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My anniversary was last month, and my lovely wife of many years and considerable tolerance bought me the book "Building Britain's Wooden Walls" as shown in the first post.  She also got me the plans that are available for the Granado (which I am considering using as a base as I have seen done before by ....(insert name here):IMG_2921.thumb.jpeg.7305d6227d98a7d639c887aee436bf4a.jpeg



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So today is the quintessential day for shipbuilding, and I had sweep ports to hack out of the boxwood that I have just CA'd in place.


Stern view:IMG_2948.thumb.jpeg.3047cdf2c7d452b52e8ffa9725234bc0.jpeg


View from the bow across marsh grass and bay



and here are the sweep ports in the process of being cleared out.  Drilled around the perimeter of the sweep port with a 0.5 mm bit until it broke.  Due to torque not bend (sigh).  These micro drills bits are so dang fragile.   Then cleared out the non-drilled with various files and rasp.  I am going to buy some auriou or valorbe rasps if I can find them, unless someone knows of a more available or appropriate substitute.  I would love a bunch of fine riffler rasps and just a few course cut ones would be gravy.    




My fingers and hand hurts a bit.  


I also dry-fitted (a few tens of times), tapered appropriately, and put a final coat of grey primer on to the walnut spirketting to be painted red ocher before I will be getting around to installaltion.  I will put a few very light coats on it, and see how it looks and put a few pics up.  Cleveland Browns are crushing the Cowboys, 2020 really is a nightmare.

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I have mentioned this before in the log, but I need to emphasize that I have no real experience with acrylic paints.  For that reason, I am considering not painting the hull to show the boxwood planking (and perhaps really faint treenails).  Still soliciting opinions on this decision, and have gotten some good advice on treenailing from several (thank you D.).  However, I think I should use the Red Ochre Admiralty paint on the spirketting and inner bullwark as suggested.   


I put two coats of grey primer on the walnut spirketting strips, lightly, with a spray can. Whether I needed to do this or not, I have no idea, but I thought better safe than sorry. Then three coats of the Admiralty red.  It looks like it could use a couple more coats, but should I sand in between with fine 320?  Or, just make sure it has good coverage, and give it a final coat or three of poly?  What do people think about the Admiralty colors in this build, and are there any alternatives that should be considered?


The sweep ports are pretty rough but I can/and will try to clean them up more over time.  Sill have more to do on the starboard side, but the port side is complete.IMG_2951.thumb.jpeg.c7ad4ba25ff004f5d74e31450c981937.jpeg 



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11 minutes ago, jwvolz said:

Nice work so far.


She builds into a beautiful model with some effort. Good idea with the boxwood, I did so as well and it made a big difference compared to the kit walnut. 


Joe, your build is one of the gold standards.  The quality of your work and of the others is just beautiful, and the Granado is a nice kit in my humble opinion.  I found a high resolution image of Clevely's Launch of a 4th Class, that show's the Granado being pulled to Harwich for final rigging.  It put's a lot of perspective on the size, as it shows people on deck.  The image is captured in high resolution.  And, thanks for the kind words and encouragement.  I am hoping to keep a good pace to ensure completion without sacrificing quality.  As I recall, you painted your beautiful boxwood hull....

While I am thinking Tung oil/Poly, I have a bottle of Admiralty white lurking as well....

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So, those sweep ports were intimidating for me to start, but I think they are looking pretty good so far.  They are all pretty close to the desired dimensions from the outside; but the inside dimensions still need work due to limited access.  I purchased some Tung Oil and some boiled linseed oil to test, is boiled Linseed considered "Danish Oil"?IMG_2972.thumb.jpeg.1c05d05abf9e292b6d82a6c2437b9e80.jpeg

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I finally received our first John Noble for our place on Roanoke Island, NC.  I should note that the picture below isn't it, because I took it to the framers before I took a picture of it.  Doh.  I got it as an anniversary gift for the Admiral, it is a lithograph of a man in the rigging entitled "Dying in the English Kill", with a unique perspective:




My Granado is going slowly but surely, in ebbs and flows, as I attempt to try to understand all the options and approaches available and navigate appropriately.  I completed lining (and even un-lining, and relining) the gunports without lids.  I had inadvertently lined the chase ports and planked them as done with the gunports.  Not too bad of a no-brainer, as I could just file it back (un-lining) and reline as it was supposed to be, absent of the boxwood planking this time.  I also sanded the wale and false keel back down, and am preparing to cover most of the plank, wale and deck with Minwax Tung Oil or Watco Danish Oil.  I am still resisting painting the wale black and am leaning towards leaving it and all the boxwood planking just oiled, not painted.  You can tell the inner bulwark still needs some sanding prior to painting red ochre, which I am currently planning on doing, as I like the look of the blood red gun ports (was that the intention?).  If the wale and false keel and hull below the waterline don't look great plain, then I will get the paints out and buy an Iwata Neo (which I am likely to do anyway..., because even little boats cost lots of money to build apparently!!!)IMG_2998.thumb.jpeg.147d68fb2023049b8798eb07950de52e.jpeg


I have wood conditioner I intend to use to help the Tung or Danish oil, and I may use a dark stain on the wale/and false keel before I tung oil it (as I had done earlier (see earlier photos), but a little to heavy handedly).  Opinions and suggestions still being accepted and encouraged! 😉



My ship modeling colleague Tomasz suggested I might want to use some dilute glue and wood dust to pack the cracks before oiling, which I appreciated even if I also semi-dread undertaking as there are a LOT of cracks 😉 to fill and sand.

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I'm going to keep posting even the slightest progress, because it is at least progress.  I have to say I have been getting tremendous advice from Tomasz and others, and the work of everyone is documented so well in some cases it is clearly a work of art.  I can't wait to hit the boxwood and Maple plank/decking with oil, but I have been filling gaps and straightening ports and lights.  I keep sanding the frames on the inner side of the bulwarks, and removing some of the previously applied stain to prepare for the red orchre paint onslaught as soon as the Tamiya tape gets here.  While going out of my mind, I made a grating cover with walnut coamings for the deck. IMG_3028.thumb.jpeg.f1b2ce96b77f6e51b1a9e9a66c9bf4f5.jpegIMG_3033.thumb.jpeg.84c6ffc3bd6dac87ffc0adf426c49769.jpegIMG_3036.thumb.jpeg.34221d191802b87c0fcc763f2a6e9253.jpeg


I also thought I would share a picture of these cool doors I scored in Durham, NC from James Kennedy's Gallery (which has unfortunately closed).  He had some amazing stuff.  If I am remembering correctly, they are 2 x 14'....19th century?3F4641A8-22AE-44F1-8714-80D472C07CDA.thumb.jpeg.abc150080144d0e868c473c0376e105c.jpeg19BA811E-FE3A-4EB0-80E2-6420858BE21C.thumb.jpeg.f2f9abb250f966d62a13cad362e4545e.jpeg



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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I managed to finish the hull with some Danish Oil without creating too much of a mess of things.  The Castello Boxwood makes it look so clean.  The picture is over-exposed and I haven't polished the finish at all, but it still looks much better than it did without the oil.P1070908.thumb.jpeg.c50220a6c9a0a1434132454636a3f4e0.jpegI also attached the keel piece at the stern, masked off all the gun/sweep ports with tamiya tape, and painted the inner bulwark red ochre (without inadvertently painting the maple decking).  I am now getting ready to add the spirketing and the sheer rail, finish the hatches, etc. and figure out how to tie the cannon's down in the forward gunports before building the foredeck over them.  Wow.  So much done, so much to go! 

Edited by HardeeHarHar
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  • 2 months later...

So, dead calm seas have allowed little forward progress in NC (actually just really busy at work).  I have discovered my kit is missing one of the brass etched sheets (0.9mm), so I have written to the manufacturer to see what my options are (wish me luck there).  I have finished all of the cannons now, to the point where I am getting ready to tie in the two in front before I cover them up with the forecastle deck.  Luckily I have some good references for rigging the gun tackle, and will do as much as possible off the boat with a rig.

P1070945 (1).jpeg

RenderedImage (1).jpeg

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  • 1 month later...

Someone needs to tell me how to put page breaks in a log.....


I have been very busy at work things, and not ship build things, but I haven't been completely idle in the background.  I made a quick jig and rigged a cannon to see how that works out prior to building the foredeck over the two cannons up front.  I tried a couple of coiling techniques that failed miserably, and I also made one big simple coil that seemed to look acceptable.  I believe I will scale down the rope coils in size a little more, but keep it as a couple of simple loops in length.  I also have now glued, and re-glued the stern fascia and the stern counter in place, and have begun to plank the stern counter (pictures to follow shortly).



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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Progress slow and steady, or just slow.  But some progress is being made during non-work hours.  I have added the stern transom and counter, but haven't added the vents and accoutrements yet (but still plan too, just don't want them getting banged around (yet). The cast metal transom is just dry-fitted here with bluetak.IMG_0226.thumb.jpeg.041dbfcb8d068b15dceee334d4312a7c.jpeg 

I have also dry-fitted the quarterdeck bulkhead, which is going along well I am surprised to say....












I also happened to catch some dry dock work being done on the Elizabeth II, a 69-foot, square-rigged sailing ship representative of the Elizabethan vessels used to carry the first English colonists to the New World. Sir Walter Raleigh sponsored three voyages to Roanoke Island between 1584 and 1587, and the Elizabeth II is named for one of the seven vessels that sailed in Raleigh's second expedition in 1585 and established the "Lost Colony" that included Virginia Dare. The original 50-ton Elizabeth was captained by Thomas Cavendish and probably carried mariners, colonists, and supplies to be used in establishing a military garrison to support England's claim to the New World.




I also happened to catch it after its repairs when it was running by our place headed for shelter in Shallowbag Bay and its moorings in Manteo Harbor.



One quick question if anyone see this....why doesn't my post have a page break yet....its like the longest scrolling build log I have ever seen!  WTH?  And one last photo, because the tuna fishing in NC has been H O T.


Edited by HardeeHarHar
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Hey Philly,

Glad to hear that another Granado is in the making.  I have found the quality of the kit to be good, the vendor I purchased it from to be extremely helpful when needed, and from what I have seen on the forum, it builds into a beautiful ship when done with talent.  I gave a lot of thought to how to do the sweep ports, factoring in multiple approaches and ease and complexity, whether to cover them or leave them without covers, etc.  That and treenails have made me pause and debate the options.  With the sweep ports I had considered not cutting them in and faking it using just the lids, based on it being my second build and it seeming to be exacting work.  However, I really liked the look of them open and un-covered when done nice and meticulously like on some of the other builds you can see on the site.  Like you, I think I asked Vane and a few others if they had considered cutting the sweep ports in the gunport template, and the general consensus was that it hasn't been done very often if at all, I think mostly because you are going to have to cut them out again eventually when you plank above the wales and it might not save you that much time and effort.  So, I went along intending not even to cut them out at all and just stick lids on the hull where the ports would be, but after the planking above the wale was completed and I had gotten familiar with cutting out the lined gunports, I got possessed and ordered the micro-drill bits and expensive needle file(s) and cut the sweep-ports in too.  I took my time to make sure I had them positioned correctly, then checked again, and then it went very slowly and smoothly (I think ;-).  Now, I believe I will leave them un-covered.


Last night I finished one of the curved bulkhead panels with one of the decals provided, as compared to the amazing hand-painting others have done I am embarrassed to say.  However, it doesn't look that bad in my humble opinion, and it looks better when it is installed in the bulkhead with the dark walnut border.



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Hi Hardeeharhar

yes I have been giving a lot of thought. This my second model too. I want to build with sweep ports open like yourself. 
I can’t fathom out why caldercraft pieced the sweep ports on other models but not granado?

I am going to pierce the gun port pattern first. My rationale is that it will be easier to mark out and cut in the flat more accurately.

I will also be following what route you have taken with the bulkhead panels as my painting skills leave a lot to be desired. 

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